Arista UV light source - sold at Freestyle - anybody using one?

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by DAP, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. DAP

    DAP Member

    Messages:
    93
    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Hi all,

    I was looking into getting a UV light source for gum printing (the sun in Wisconsin during winter is not all that reliable). The arista model sold by Freestyle has caught my eye. It looks like a pretty smart, durable, easy to transport/pack away design. The price, while not low, seems to be in the ballpark of other photographic pre-made UV units. Have any of you used one/seen one in person? If so, any opinions on it?

    I know that for less money I could probably track down a NuArc, but I'm worried about the maintenance costs/parts availability on a severely used unit (most 2nd hand units seem to have been used pretty heavily). It seems like overkill for a casual printer like myself (I'm just starting out with alt processes). Although I'll take any advice on the NuArc to the contrary.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

    Messages:
    2,386
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2006
    Location:
    Cleveland, O
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    It is pretty easy to make a light box with some compact-fluorescent black-light bulbs: 4 bulbs - $32; a wood crate from the attic; some white paint for the interior and some lamp sockets and wire.
     
  3. gmikol

    gmikol Member

    Messages:
    304
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Vancouver, W
    Shooter:
    35mm
    If you were looking for a complete, turn-key, unbox-it-and-start-printing solution, and money was no matter, this seems reasonable, but I've never seen or used the unit.

    Nicholas is right, for probably a quarter of the cost of the Freestyle unit, you could make one identical in function, but probably not as pretty. You'd have to be comfortable buying all the components and doing some electrical wiring, and knowing how to do it safely. The left over $500 will buy a lot of platinum and paper.

    Lastly, don't underestimate a NuArc. I bought mine having only ever made a handful of prints at a carbon workshop one weekend. I wasn't willing to spend the money on the (much more expensive) Edwards Engineering UV sources, and Freestyle wasn't selling this one yet. I also knew that building one was going to drag on forever...I tend to not finish things. So a NuArc was a much less expensive turn-key solution for me. These things are built like tanks...I'm at least the 3rd owner of my NL22. If you get a 26-1K or 26-1KS unit, NuArc still services these. A bulb for the 26-1KS is about the same cost as replacing a set of bulbs on the Freestyle unit ($16*8=$128, and you should replace them all at the same time), with probably fairly similar lifetimes. Bulbs for the older 26-1K are typically available in the $40 to $60 range, and Freestyle sells these. And there's plenty of people here on APUG and DPUG with Nuarc units who can help you if you decide to go that route. NuArcs don't fall into the "easy to transport/put away" category, though.
     
  4. musila

    musila Member

    Messages:
    30
    Joined:
    May 25, 2010
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    if you want a really cheap alternative, i use a smith and victor light with a 12" reflector that's rated at 500watts with a 500 watt ebv bulb.. my exposure times were from 3-7 minutes depending on the pigment and dichromate levels. saturated cyanotype solutions were exposed at 40 min+ but if i diluted it down for my tricolor prints, it was between 4-6 minutes.. i hang the light around 18 inches above my contact frames.
     
  5. DAP

    DAP Member

    Messages:
    93
    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Well - I ended up locating a NuArc 26-1k on craigslist. It's old and rusty but everything works and at $150 it was probably cheaper than building my own uv light source.

    Case closed.

    Thanks for the advice/suggestions.